WASHINGTON - Bradley Manning, the US Army soldier who sent hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, was found not guilty on Tuesday of the most serious charge against him - aiding the enemy - but guilty of several other charges at a military trial in Fort Meade, Maryland, according to media reports

Conviction on aiding the enemy carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

Col. Denise Lind, the military judge in the case, made the ruling. Manning had requested that a judge, not a jury, determine the verdict against him.Lind found Manning guilty of five counts of theft, five  counts of espionage, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. Manning’s sentencing hearing is set to begin Wednesday.

In his closing argument last week, military prosecutor Maj. Ashden Fein, told the court Manning was a traitor who joined the Army to steal government documents, turn them over to the anti-secrecy organization and enjoy  adulation as a whistle blower.

Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, portrayed him as a soldier troubled by what he saw while deployed to Iraq and struggling as a gay man. Manning, 25, had faced 21 charges, including the most serious - aiding the enemy, which carries a possible sentence of up to life in prison. Manning has acknowledged giving

WikiLeaks some 700,000 battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos. But he says he didn’t believe the information would harm troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.